This review is being solely done and credited to my son. Photos and videos taken by Tommy Scags. Since he is new to doing reviews, this is more of a learning experience. His review will be in photos and videos. You decide for yourself if you like what you see.


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Photos by Tommy Scags

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Below info and images from Best Buy. Click Here for their site, specs and reviews on the Dronium Two. 




HP All-In-One Desktop Computer Review

In a word: #AWESOME

Honestly, I love this thing. I’ve had many computers throughout the years. Actually, my first computer was a Commodore 64. That was back when you had to type a full page of coding just to change the font color. Everything was a process. I believe I was 9 or 10 at the time. From that point on I have lived, ate and breathed computers. Anybody recall the first chat rooms? How about avatars? You weren’t really you, but rather some hot model pulled from an ad. You just chose how perfect you wanted to be and presto change-o.

My original websites were written entirely in coding. And with each new device, more coding had to be learned. But it was like a symphony to me. Pure logic. I just had to make it fit.

So naturally, I’ve had a lot of gadgets in my life. I think one half of my brain is fully paints and easels; the other half purely gadgets and gears. And a new computer sets me in ‘kid in a candy store’ mode. Much to my sheer delight, my husband got me a new toy for Christmas this year. I was even happier when I saw the color!


Just a few weeks prior, I was moaning about all the black cords, huge processor and overall dust pattern on the bedroom computer. Honestly…it’s an eyesore. I did however need a computer in the family room. I’m prone to late night blogging and my husband gets up at 3:30 am. Essentially, I barely used the bedroom computer and had no desire to have the clunky thing in the family room.

The HP All-In-One has ONE cord going into the wall. The other two cords are white and specifically for the keyboard and the mouse.


The WebCam is built in….so naturally…I had to try it out….


The keyboard and mouse are also aesthetically pleasing…

As far as speed, I’ve had zero issues. I’m a Netflix junkie and the video playback is flawless…


(Obviously I’m correct about my brain being two halves of wacky…I can never decide between Comedy and Horror…Go figure.)

And it’s equipped with Cortana…basically she’s Siri for an HP.


And of course, there’s plenty of help…


It runs the Windows 10 program, which honestly, I didn’t love when it first came out. Too many issues with game play on already existing games. But they seem to have worked out the kinks and now it’s growing on me. The apps are handy and I love having instant access to my e-mail.

To be clear:  This isn’t built for major league gaming. It’s not Alienware . (I have a 17 year old son…believe me when I say, he’s insanely picky about his gaming gear. So my opinion is based on his opinion of how fast the ‘on screen’ reaction time is.)  But it is fast! I use it for internet based work and play. With the use of iCloud for easy file storage and transfer, I haven’t had an issue. Yes there’s a HUGE amount of storage, however in the past I’ve learned not to over-stuff a computer if you can help it. Homework for the kids, photos, social media, movies etc…it’s genuinely a great gadget.

Plus…yep…you can pop in a DVD!


This one was purchased at Best Buy, so I’m going to post the specs directly from their site. I’d be here all night if I typed it all out….

And no..I’m not a paid reviewer. This is a non-paid site. If you’re paid, then you’re swayed!

This is an honest review based on my own experience with this particular computer. I pay for this domain, so technically …I’m paying to share this review with you.


Product Features

Microsoft Windows 10 operating system

Windows 10 brings back the popular Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen.Learn more ›

23.8″ Full HD LED display

Native 1920 x 1080 resolution showcases your games and HD movies with impressive color and clarity.

8GB system memory for advanced multitasking

Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once.

SuperMulti DVD/CD burner

Reads and writes to a wide variety of media formats, including DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, CD-R/RW, DVD-RAM and double-layer DVD.

1TB hard drive for ample file storage space

Holds a significant collection of digital photos, music, HD videos and DVD-quality movies. 7200 rpm spindle speed enables rapid read/write times for handling large files and complex applications.

Cloud support lets you access your files anywhere

Store your photos, videos, documents and other files on Dropbox for secure access across multiple devices. Fees may apply.

Built-in webcam with two microphones

Makes it easy to video chat with family and friends or teleconference with colleagues over Skype or other popular applications.

Built-in media reader for simple photo transfer

Supports SD, SDHC and SDXC memory card formats.

2 USB 3.0 ports maximize the latest high-speed devices

Also includes 2 USB 2.0 ports to connect more accessories and peripherals. The USB 3.0 ports are backward-compatible with USB 2.0 devices (at 2.0 speeds).

Wireless and wired network connectivity

Built-in high-speed wireless LAN connects to your network on the most common Wi-Fi standards. Gigabit Ethernet LAN port plugs into wired networks.

Bluetooth 4.0 interface syncs with compatible devices

Wirelessly transfer photos, music and other media between the computer and your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or MP3 player, or connect Bluetooth wireless accessories.

Multimedia software package included

CyberLink PowerDirector, HP Recovery Manager, HP Support Assistant, HP Games Powered by WildTangent, Netflix, Snapfish.

Additional ports

Microphone and headphone jacks.

Intel, Pentium, Celeron, Core, Atom, Ultrabook, Intel Inside and the Intel Inside logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.


That’s about for it now. I honestly have no cons to this gadget. Typically I have an entire list of whimpering and whining, but nothing comes to mind as of yet. That could change a few months from, but for right now….TWO THUMBS UP!

etc. special things for special people

For the next month or so, I’ll be showcasing family-owned businesses and small business owners.

This is an effort to show the amazing creativity thought up and fully executed by some incredibly talented individuals. Owning a small business requires an artistic streak and a beautiful imagination. A small business holds the owner’s heart and soul. They’re giving us full access into their creative thought process every time we walk in the door.

Whether it’s a chef, a bar owner,  a photographer, a painter or a farmer, by owning a small business, they’re showing the world their canvas.

Small businesses tend to produce better products. Their name is on the business and they know it. They know the vast majority of the people who walk through the door. They maintain ongoing long lasting friendships with many of them. The sense of community in a family-owned business is very telling.

PLUS: Shopping local greatly increases town revenue which =more local jobs=local manufacturing=higher wages=more money for the consumer. 

The owners of local businesses are more likely to make darn sure they’re handing you a great meal, great service or strong long lasting products. 

Large corporation owned businesses, generally don’t have the same mindset. Just ask a cashier at a chain store (if you can find one), what a certain item does or where it’s made. Ask how long that item is said to last and who you can call when it breaks. Will the phone-call  require you to have your phone not only charged, but plugged in so it can outlast the wait time? Remember…  we get what we pay for. Saving to buy a sturdy item from a local business, is obviously better for our wallets. Being pulled in by dollar delights, means we generally just bought more junk. In no time at all, we’ll be running back to replace that same junk.

 So without further delay, let’s talk gift shops! 


Yes. That’s the name! etc. is a quaint family-owned gift shop, located in the heart of downtown Amherst, Ohio.

At first glance, this little shop is full of color and vibrancy. From clothing and accessories, to cards, gifts and decor, it’s honestly just chuck-full of fun! Personally, I’m rather fond of the jewelry. There are just so many unique and genuinely  creative items to choose from. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind gift. And the vintage lovelies? Oh my! Of course, my readers know,  I have a thing for vintage decor and old-world style. And this place has plenty.

For those of us who love visuals, I’ve included some photos below:





For more information on etc. or to browse their products:  www.shopatetc.net , stop in at 215 Park Ave. Amherst OH 44001 or call: (440) 985-1999.

And a big thank you to the owner, Erin Link, for allowing me to photograph her wonderfully creative brain child. (And I think I left my coffee on a shelf).





Taking the new oven for a test drive: Red Velvet and Ambrosia

My husband found a deal for WhirlPool applances. At first, I was iffy on the stainless steel….simply due to the fact, that it’s next to impossible to keep fingerprint free. And since I photograph food…well…you get where that may be a tad annoying.

However, one week in…and minus the endless bottles of stainless steel cleaner, I honestly do love the look and feel of the appliances.  (Albeit..if anyone can suggest a good cleaner, I’d appreciate it). And with fall promptly at my doorstep, red velvet came to mind!

So how did it go,  you ask?

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Well….my cakes cooked evenly, the color stayed in tact, the aroma is fantastic and the applainces look great….


But for the love of all that’s HOLY.….somebody please tell me how to keep it spotless?!?!?!?!?!

Note: Don’t forget the Ambrosia Chocolate and Strawberries…..

Flax Oat Granola with a Chocolate Twist


Getting my kids to eat anything flax, is like pulling teeth…unless…of course…they don’t know it’s there.

Ingredients :

Flax Seed

Quick Oats

Dark Chocolate Chips

Brown Sugar (optional)

Butter or Coconut Paste/Oil

In a large saucepan, add enough butter or coconut oil  and brown sugar to coat the amount of oats that you desire. I did about 5 cups of oats:  1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar.


Once blended and melted, I added my oats. Keep on low heat, while gently turning to coat. Turn in the flax seed. I recommend for optimal digestion and health: grind the flax seed first, in a coffee grinder.





Lastly, add the chocolate…


Once the ingredients are blended and heated (about 15 minutes on low heat), scoop the mixture on a sheet of wax paper and let set for 30 minutes.


Not only does this make a great snack pack for school lunches, but it makes a fantastic cereal. Add almond, soy or dairy milk.

As always, feel free to tweak.


Ozark Trail 10-Person 3-Room XL Family Cabin Tent: Review

As always, my reviews are unpaid.

Ozark Trail 10-Person 3-Room XL Family Cabin Tent

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If I had to give it a star rating….****. And I only say four, rather then five, just due to time it took to  set-up.  It’s better to have two people….one makes it a little hard. Especially when it’s it’s time for the rain fly….you’re pretty much at the mercy of where the wind takes it while you are throwing it over the rather large tent. Two adults, easily…..but I was only with my children…they’re shorter 😉

Cost: Depending on where you buy – 175$-200$

Weather proof: YES.  At least ours is. Being storm season around here and a week long down pour, the tent didn’t leak one tiny drop when we went camping last week! I did, however, spray it with a waterproofer prior to leaving.

All the poles are pre-essembled, so they simply spring together. And there are PLENTY of windows! You can even keep the fly off during a dry spell, and the whole tent would be extremely well vented.

Power Port: YES.

Again, this is a very LARGE tent! If you are intending to set up a canopy as well….better get a large site.

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Sleeps 10. We used the room dividers. The dog was in the center, my daughter and I shared one room (we fit both a queen size and single air mattress in there) and my sons (each on single size mattresses) had their own ‘room’ as well. We all had room to spare.

Storage: There are several pockets, located throughout the tent. They’re off the ground to prevent water damage to any items inside.

Would I get another Ozark? Sure.

Olde Town Pizza in Small Town America : Amherst, Ohio


~image courtesy of mainstreetamherst.org

One Word: Amazing

We  took the kids to Olde Town Pizza House tonight. It’s been a while for me, actually since before the add on. The remodel is incredible. Everything from the marbled design on the floor, to the full mural enveloping the outside walls,  is loaded with both fine and rustic charm. (I think one of my favorite decor elements is the sliding wooden ladder…although the tricycle wine rack is pretty nifty). With the fireplace and rather large beer menu, it’s rather hard not to feel at home.  Our waitress was vibrant, kind and prompt…all of those things are extremely welcome when seated at a table chalk full of kids.

Cleanliness is huge in my book. I mean HUGE! Yes…I look at everything from the windows to the doorknobs. It’s flu season and we’ve already had our share, thank you very much! This place was spotless and that’s hard to do in the slushy winter landscape.

The food? We ordered the family size chicken fold-over and the pepperoni/sausage pizza. (We’re a family of five and we have more than enough for lunch tomorrow). The crust was moist, the chicken was tender, the lettuce and tomato were crisp and the pepperoni/sausage pizza….I could go on for ages. And one beverage in the this place?… It’s actually enough No tiny cups in this establishment.

As far as the view…perfect. From the window we could watch the busy bustle of small town America. From friends and neighbors headed out for a Friday night at Ziggy’s,  to tiny fish keepers out for their first goldfish at Neptune’s Cellar. Only a stones throw from the Park Ave/Church Street intersection:  ‘Dancing On Main Street’ must be rather fun to watch from there.

Will we return? You betcha!

All-In-All: Two thumbs up...and maybe a big toe or two…

“The Interview”: Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader…


First let me start by saying: Eminem… Eminem… Eminem…..I couldn’t pull my eyes away from that scene.  I have no logical reason for it, but that bit there…that was funny.

So what did I take away from “The Interview”? That’s a loaded question and I may irritate a few folks with my answer. Having seen multiple documentaries on North Korea (Thank You Netflix, YouTube and Lisa Ling), I’m well aware of the history and ‘God’ status of Kim Jong-un, Supreme Leader. For decades the population of North Korea has been veiled in a cloud of dark fantasy. To the outside world, the Supreme Leader has given a whole new meaning to the words “God Complex”. With horror stories of starvation and concentration camps being the lead view of North Korea, I found the movie to be rather refreshing. Take ‘the Nightmare Before Christmas’….how many kids lost their fear of the ‘boogie man’ as a result of ‘Oogie Boogie’? (ok…I know I’m adult, but that movie made sleeping in the dark much easier on my end).

And prior to Sadam and Osama finally meeting their deaths, there was almost …and I said almost (meaning not quite), an immortality to their cruelty.  Their deaths somehow made them ‘truly human’. Death, after all, stills every beating heart in the end. No living creature is immune.

“The Interview”, from my perspective, was less about humanizing Kim Jong-un for North Korea and more about humanizing the Supreme Leader….for us. Lets face it, we’re a species that loves to laugh! Laughter has the ability to elevate us, while at the same time, bringing us down to earth. Is the strife in North Korea funny? Hell no! But that wasn’t the point. As I sat in my living room, munching on chocolate chips and peanut butter (don’t judge me), the scene of Kim Jong-un giddy as a school boy, dancing to Katy Perry, filled my screen. For a moment…for one moment….a man I’ve never met, worlds away, cruel as the day is long….felt…human. Simply human. And what bothered me…and this part is strange…I felt sorry for him! Don’t get ahead of me here. It was an empathetic reflex, and frankly….I was annoyed with myself. Then I realized what the trigger was. Here is a man who has never known any other way. Cruelty is in his blood. It made me wonder…not if he cries, but why? I know that he must. He is in fact…human.  In the movie…yes...I know it’s just a movie...but in the movie, he’s portrayed as lonely.  Every emotion around him is fake. His so called ‘friends’ cry on cue, every single statement he makes is met with agreement and zero hostility. I would hate that.  My best friend, would call me out in a second. If I fell…she’d help me up, yes, but only after she put a picture of me, butt up in the snow, all over Instagram! Friends aren’t supposed to agree with every single fricken thing that comes out of our mouths. Friends are supposed to fight the good fight and tell us when we’re being ganks. True friendship is the thrill ride of the century….hills, valleys, the tunnel of terror and puking up that last corn dog on the spinning saucers. To put it blunty….farts are never hidden from true friends…those suckers are showcased in all their glory in full color right there on the front page. And just when you’re ready to blow your  stack: they pull a mind scramble on you, bring over a pitcher of margaritas, listen to you dribble on and on about your sucky ass day and then they remind you as to why they’re your bestie…it goes something like this “Suck it up! They have dollar shots at the karaoke bar! I’m buying!” 

This movie, besides the hilarious tank scene and finding out that, yes…Kim Jong-un does have an anus, did succeed in humanizing not only the Supreme Leader, but his lot of brainwashed followers. It gives me hope, that somewhere in that country…underneath the constant kneeling and propaganda, there are those who aren’t falling for all the hype. If that’s the case, there is hope for this country. Is there hope for Kim Jong-un? hmmmm…..Some people lie so much, they believe their own lies. I’d say this fella wrote the book on deception. Let’s face it. He has an entire country believing he’s a God. Well….as far as he knows. After all, there are athiests everywhere…..